Asher Quinn (Asha) | Forgotten Language of the Heart

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Forgotten Language of the Heart

by Asher Quinn (Asha)

Great value 'greatest hits' double CD compilation spanning 21 years. Love ballads; new-age instrumentals; piano pieces; cover versions & 'live' recordings. 150 minutes of music, and 37 great tracks!
Genre: Easy Listening: Ballads
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Bow Down
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5:17 $0.99
2. The Mystic Garden
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3:58 $0.99
3. Allah, Hallelujah, Elohim
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2:33 $0.99
4. Swing Lo, Sweet Chariot
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3:34 $0.99
5. La Vie D'un Oiseau
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3:21 $0.99
6. If You Believed In Love
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3:09 $0.99
7. Heal Your Heart
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7:14 $0.99
8. Lily of the West
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4:07 $0.99
9. Gypsy Madonna
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3:32 $0.99
10. Bird On the Wire 'live'
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2:48 $0.99
11. I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
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3:06 $0.99
12. A Solitary Bird
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5:19 $0.99
13. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
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3:18 $0.99
14. Field of Stars
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2:37 $0.99
15. Girl Jesus
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2:59 $0.99
16. Hang On to A Dream
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1:48 $0.99
17. Soldier of Love
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5:49 $0.99
18. Gloria
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4:02 $0.99
19. House of Spirits
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4:45 $0.99
20. Morning Sun
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3:08 $0.99
21. Golden Brown
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3:25 $0.99
22. Love Call
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4:39 $0.99
23. Missa Greca
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5:20 $0.99
24. Greensleeves
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4:29 $0.99
25. Sacred Heart
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4:49 $0.99
26. The Marriage of the Sun and Moon
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2:27 $0.99
27. Silent Night
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3:23 $0.99
28. Have Mercy on Me
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3:55 $0.99
29. This Love
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3:57 $0.99
30. Copper Kettle
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4:01 $0.99
31. Prayer for the World
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4:54 $0.99
32. Please Let Me Get What I Want
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2:32 $0.99
33. Forgiveness
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3:45 $0.99
34. Down in the Willow Garden
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2:40 $0.99
35. Sailing On the Silk Blue Sea
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5:42 $0.99
36. Amazing Grace
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4:42 $0.99
37. Return to Your Soul
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9:05 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
A double CD 'essential Asher Quinn' type celebration of 21 years of recording from 2008… and the perfect compilation for his long time fans, as well as being a marvellous introduction to the extraordinary range of Asher's music for new listeners.

There are love songs, piano pieces, instrumentals, pop-songs, folk-songs, covers and 'live' tracks… all with this extraordinarily intimate sense of spirituality that is Asher's trademark.

The tracks are diverse and yet complimentary, delicate and yet dynamic, and reflect the range of new-age producers Asher has worked with too… the likes of Anthony Phillips (ex-Genesis), Phil Thornton, Med Goodall & James Asher. Not represented here are his two latest studio albums, "Serpent in Paradise" and "Falling Through Time."

Many of his most popular 'hits' are included from albums such as "Open Secret", "Mystic Heart", "Concert of Angels", "Love is the Only Prayer" and "Music for Love"… such classics as 'Bow down', "A solitary bird', 'Soldier of love', 'Gloria', 'Missa Greca', 'Prayer for the world' and 'Return to your soul'.

At 150 minutes of music this compilation is extremely good value. The booklet is good value too, with gentle humour surfacing here and there as Asher describes the tracks he has selected, with the odd running gag or two.


Reviews


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Kelly O'Neill

Forgotten Language of the Heart
Artist: Asher Quinn
Album” Forgotten Language of the Heart
Review by Kelly O’Neil
 

Introspective New Age artist Asher Quinn has a large volume of work to his credit throughout his two decade career thus far. Forgotten Language of the Heart showcases many of his best works, most intriguing covers, and offers a few unreleased live versions of new material.
Featuring his whispery vocals accompanied by an unadorned piano is “The Mystic Garden,” recorded live in Belgium in September 2008 and Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on the Wire,” recorded live two months later in London. “Have Mercy on Me” is another debut from the same show and is effortlessly and passionately delivered. More live offerings from that same year are the rolling “If You Believed in Love” and the reflective “Morning Sun” from the album Serpent in Paradise. A truly live treat is the vindictive “Forgiveness” with Quinn lashing out his vocals accompanied by the acoustic guitar.
The folksy troubadour is well accomplished in caressing his signature sound upon the tunes of others. Tim Hardin’s melancholy “Hang On to a Dream” covered by alternative pop group Echo & the Bunnymen and the progressive rock band Emerson, Lake and Palmer becomes a dreamlike sequence with Asher’s quiet vocals and running piano. Quinn’s slow, moving take on the Negro spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” is fairly traditional with long strings underneath xylophone and sparse acoustic guitar accompaniment. Med Goodall plays the arousing guitar solo in the bridge as heavier drumbeats are heard for extra effect. This song originally appeared on the album Silent Night along with Albert Frank Beddoe’s “Copper Kettle.” Quinn’s rendition joins the ranks of great performances by Joan Baez and Bob Dylan with his soft vocals perfectly enhancing the down home Americana lyrics. His choice of instrumentation is also top notch with the cello adding depth to the coda. Along the same vein is the tragic Appalachian bluegrass murder ballad “Down in the Willow Garden” with its sweet melody and depressing lyrics. This tale of love never meant to be also follows another American folksong, also thought to have an Irish origin, in “Lily of the West,” originally appearing on the album East of East.
Going back to more spiritual tunes, on the same album as the previously mentioned ballad is the Christian hymn “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say.” Quinn’s wavering whisper sets the perfect tone for his nondescript cover of the Christmas carol and title track from Silent Night. “Amazing Grace,” from the album Resurrection, is given a New Age makeover with its full orchestration and vocal inflections. The clarinet is a nice touch heard towards the end of the piece. Off the Field of Stars album is the English ballad “Greensleeves” heard with its traditional secular lyrics, though sounding a bit low for Quinn vocally at times, its repetitive melody is soothing.
Throughout the years, Quinn has joined forces with an array of talented guest musicians. On “Heal Your Heart” from Music for Love, vocalist Susanna Bramson adds a ripple of excitement to this heavily produced New Age gem. Between the synthesized chorus and steady drum beat, Bramson employs impressive vocal turns with a Middle Eastern flair and harmonizes well with herself. Like Moya Brennan, she uses her high clear voice more as an instrument rather than focusing on enunciation. Running over seven minutes long, this tune takes on a temporal trancelike feel. Bramson is featured again on “Love Call” with gorgeous sustained notes echoing in the background as Quinn sings this lush fervent love song boasting his sincere poetic lyrics.
Hungarian singer Lila Mayi shadows Quinn’s vocals in “Gypsy Madonna.” She too has a lovely voice but is barely heard over Quinn’s prominent presence in the mix. The vocal lines do not always align, which could be purposefully bohemian or else slightly sloppy. Mayi is heard again in “Missa Greca,” Quinn’s masterful take on a Greek orthodox mass. The cello adds nice texture and the addition of percussion, acoustic guitar and triangle give the song a pulsing heartbeat. This religious march is punctuated with ringing chimes and the diverse instrumentation save the song from monotony. Sharon Sage adds her vocals to another tune inspired by the Slavonic Liturgies of the Greek Orthodox Church in “Gloria.” Her multi-layered vocals are pristine and continue to grow throughout the song so as to fill a cathedral.
One of the earlier recordings found on Forgotten Language of the Heart is the piano muse “La Vie D’une Oiseau.” Phil Thornton joins in halfway through the piece on recorder adding an ethereal Celtic feel to this quietly tip-toeing melody. “Soldier of Love” sounds like another heavily produced New Age number with its synthesized effects and bell tones. Then Andy Latimer enters on electric guitar adding a new dimension of depth and character to the song. Quinn fares just fine on his own on solo piano, as heard in the meditative “A Solitary Bird” with its echoic rubato. He also enjoys experimenting with unique instrumental tones such as the ocharina, an ancient flute-like instrument that was prevalent in ancient Chinese and Mesoamerican cultures. This elliptical wind instrument makes the song “House of Spirits” a real treat. Of course, this collection could not be complete without the instrumental tune that started it all, “Sacred Heart” from Quinn’s first album Open Secret.
A stupendous volume of music awaits in Quinn’s Forgotten Language of the Heart collection and even after multiple listens, there is still more to discover.

Review by Kelly O’Neil
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)